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German poker pro wins High Roller for One Drop tournament at WSOPE

6 Nov 2017

Dominik Nitsche

Dominik Nitsche (photo by World Series of Poker Europe)

Name: Dominik Nitsche
Nationality: German
Birthplace: Wittlich, Germany
Age: 27
Profession: Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 33
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 7
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 4
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st (three times)
Total WSOP Earnings: $6,647,429

Dominik Nitsche has won the biggest buy-in World Series of Poker tournament of 2017 after a dominant showing against some of the most talented players in the world. Nitsche won the €111,111 High Roller for One Drop at WSOP Europe, held at King's Casino in Rozvadov. For the victory, Nitsche earns €3,487,463 and the fourth WSOP bracelet of his career.

With four bracelets in his trophy case, Nitsche is now tied for 25th place on the all-time bracelet list despite being just 27 years old. He won his first bracelet in 2012, then followed it up with two in 2014, including that year's WSOP National Championship.

But for the young poker pro, the bracelet itself isn't nearly as important as what it signifies to him. "It's not about the bracelets for me, mostly. It's about playing really well. I'm more proud of how I played rather than that I won. […] The bracelets are nice, but the bracelets show me that my hard work pays off. I'm not the kind of guy to go trophy chasing. I'm more the kind of guy to play in a high roller because I love competing against the best."

Nitsche went on to explain that for him, playing well involves a combination of preparation and execution. "A lot of time recently that I put into playing was heads-up cash games, specifically. So I felt extremely comfortable all the way through. Maybe a little bit three-handed was not the strongest part of my game, and [third-place finisher] Mikita [Badziakouski] is one of the best in the world at that, so I wasn't the strongest player there. But I felt as good a player as Andreas Eiler, who played fantastic. I felt like was the strongest player at this point. And I felt like I made no mistakes at all. I think I played perfect. There was no bet size, no fold, anything that I would change in hindsight. That's why I'm happy."

It was an all-German heads-up battle at the end. After Mikita Badziakouski was eliminated in third place, Dominik Nitsche and Andreas Eiler battled for the title. They led a strong showing from the German contingent in this event. Their countrymen who also made the money included Steffen Sontheimer (5th place), Christoph Vogelsang (6th), Koray Aldemir (11th place), Jan Schwippert (14th), Christopher Frank (15th) and Daniel Pidun (20th). And Thomas Muehloecker (now living in Austria), finished in fourth place.

Eiler, in contrast to Nitsche's resume, had only finished in the money in one previous WSOP event, a minimum cash in a $3,000 no-limit hold'em event four years ago. His total recorded live earnings before today was about $846,000, and he earned nearly three times that amount today for his runner-up finish (€2,155,418).

The tournament entries generated €977,768 for One Drop, a charity dedicated to providing sustainable access to clean water in impoverished communities across the globe. The partnership between One Drop and WSOP began in 2012, and since then it has produced over $20,000,000 for One Drop's projects. That number will likely increase next year. Before the start of Day 2 on Saturday, it was announced that the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop tournament will return in 2018, starting 15 July in Las Vegas. More information is available on the website.

The tournament attracted 132 entries — 88 unique players and 44 re-entries. This is slightly more than the $111,111 One Drop event in Las Vegas back in June. There were 113 entries on Day 1, and 58 players bagged chips at the end of the night. Charlie Carrel led the way with 10,000,000 in chips, exactly five times the starting stack.

Late registration was open for the first two levels on Day 2, and there were another 19 entries before it officially closed. By the end of Day 2, only 10 players remained, and Christoph Vogelsang had a big chip lead with 63,325,000 in chips. He held more than twice as much as his closest competitor (Andreas Eiler with 30,450,000) and roughly 25% of the chips in play. Carrel eventually finished in 9th place, and Vogelsang finished in sixth.

The top 20 players made the money, and the bubble burst late on Day 2.

When Day 3 began, Kenny Haellart was the shortest stack of the ten remaining players. He quickly doubled up and got some breathing room, but he was still the first elimination of the day, a little more than an hour after play started. That slow pace of play continued for a while as Charlie Carrel (9th place), Martin Kabrhel (8th), and Ahadpur Khangah (7th), and Christoph Vogelsang (6th) were eliminated over the course of the next four hours.

The action picked up at that point, and there were three more bustouts in the next 90 minutes: Steffen Sontheimer (5th), Thomas Muehloecker (4th), and Mikita Badziakouski (3rd). Then after a short dinner break, the two remaining players returned to battle for the bracelet and the first-place prize.

Here are the final table payouts. Check the website for full results:

1. Dominik Nitsche – €3,487,463
2. Andreas Eiler – €2,155,418
3. Mikita Badziakouski – €1,521,312
4. Thomas Muehloecker – €1,096,206
5. Steffen Sontheimer – €806,758
6. Christoph Vogelsang – €606,694
7. Ahadpur Khangah – €466,421
8. Martin Kabrhel – €366,762

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker Europe)
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